Archive for the 'body image' Category

Fighting the scale

While unpacking, I found my scale. The battery had died during its 6 month long stay at Public Storage. Instead of opening up the battery compartment to replace the batteries, I thought twice. And threw it out.

This was a huge moment for me, considering that I have stepped onto a scale every morning after my shower for years. Years. I have written down my weight in food journals, diaries, dry-erase boards, scrap pieces of paper.

I’m so tired of the numbers. I’m tired of a 3 digit number setting the tone for the day. I’m so sick of willing the numbers to fall. I’m so tired of punishing myself when they rise. I don’t want it to be part of my daily life anymore. I don’t want my self image tied to a number. It’s just so fucking stupid. I want to feel good about the way I look and I want my body to be strong and healthy. If I end up carrying 30 pounds over what is considered “normal” for my frame, but I still feel good, then so be it. My body should dictate what feels right. Not my scale, not my doctor, not the BMI charts. I refuse to let this keep me down any longer.

That being said, the Holidays were not good to my figure. I can tell because the waistband of my jeans has become uncomfortably tight. The candies, the cookies, the treats, the baked goods, the feasts, and then the pizza and fast food through the chaos of moving. The emotional eating from the stress.

And so, the waistband gets the wheels in my head turning at warp speed. I start panicking. Why did I get rid of that damn scale? Who has a scale that I can borrow? I must know the number, must know, must know.

But I don’t. I won’t. I’m not going to. I’m going to listen to my body and give it the fuel it needs and I’m going to be mindful about when it’s truly hungry and when it’s not. I’m going to allow myself to drink as much coffee as I please, and to savor my birthday dessert this weekend. I will not deprive myself. I will not punish myself. I won’t wallow in guilt or self-disgust. I’m done.

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A mother’s body

Today when I got out of the shower, instead of trying to avoid the inevitable glimpse of my naked body in the mirror, I studied myself. I looked at my reflection straight on. I turned to the side. I have the body of a mother. My skin is soft and fair, the trait I carry over from my girlhood. My neck is long and elegant, my shoulders graceful but strong. My biceps are toned from years of picking up sturdy little boys and carrying 18 bags of groceries at a time. The hair on my arms is just peach fuzz, so blonde its almost white. My hands show my age, beginning to grow creases and turn dry from laundry and dishes. My breasts look swollen, slung low from pregnancy and nursing. The skin on my chest has been stretched so tight and thin that I can see the bright blue veins running underneath my skin, pumping thick, rich blood. My belly is round, soft like bread dough that has been stretched and pulled and kneaded. My babies lived here. The marks that run down my sides and into the space between my legs are okay with me. The fold of skin near the bottom of my abdomen cannot bother me. In return for these scars I was rewarded three times with new life, healthy and pure. My legs are strong, they have carried the weight of these pregnancies. They have climbed stairs, pushed strollers, squatted to allow the baby’s head to break through. I can’t keep hating the body that has served me well. It has never failed me. There is nothing I can regret.

Weight loss and dog poo

Today, after a minor panic attack about the fact that my 10 year high school reunion is less than a year away and I have probably 50 pounds to lose before I will ever agree to attend such an event, I decided to pull myself up by the boot straps and climb back atop the Weight Loss Wagon. It’s a bit of a tricky wagon too, considering the fact that I am still breastfeeding, which means that I can’t just start taking massive amounts of Metabolife and eating less than 20grams of carbohydrates per day. (Or juice fasting or cleansing, which is more along the lines of what I have planned out for my post-weaning dieting escapades.) Weight loss during breastfeeding (at least this far into breastfeeding) comes insanely slow, at the rate of 1-2lbs per week. For me, this is just unacceptable. I’m just too much of an instant gratification type of girl, which also probably explains the sort of debt I’ve gotten myself into.

Anyway, I can do my best to restrict my calories a bit, and to make healthy nutritional choices, but for the most part, any weight loss right now will be mostly due to an exercise regime. And so, this morning, I got on the bike. This is the bike that is responsible for my bodybuilder calves, as well as my batwings . I love the bike, because it gives me a fantastic and intense workout, and also brings me one step closer to my long term goal of joining a Spinning class and not falling down dead 10 minutes into it. However, I do realize that I need to mix it up a bit. My Dad owns a Total Gym by Chuck Norris, which pretty much looks like a torture machine. But hey, exercise=torture anyway, right? It looks pretty confusing, but I’m dead set on figuring it out.

I’m proud of myself for getting back to my cardio workout, but I’m more proud of the fact that I had to venture downstairs, into my brother’s lair, in order to get on the bike. Now, let me explain. The lower portion of my parent’s home consists of a large family room, 2 large bedrooms, a large bathroom, a storage room, and a laundry room. One of the bedrooms belongs to my brother and his dog, but he has somehow become delusional in thinking that the entire floor is his own personal apartment. He’s the biggest slob I’ve ever met in my entire life, and his dog, who is now about 13 years old, has no bladder or bowel control. She shits and pisses all over the downstairs and it stinks to high heaven down there 24/7. When I got down there this morning, there was a big ass pile o’ shit on the carpet and the stench was unbearable. I started yelling at little bro to come clean it up. He comes out of his bedroom with a crapload of paper towels, picks it up, deposits in the toilet and flushes. Unbeknownst to me, the toilet starts to overflow, and since he’s a total retard, he figures it out too late and the toilet water starts spilling onto the floor. He turns the water off and comes and taps on my arm, while I’m closing my eyes, listening to my iPod and pushing myself up an imaginary hill on a bicycle. He’s like “the toilet overflowed.” Now, this is the toilet that I tried fixing just a few days ago, and I am not doing it again. Funk. That. I tell him “good luck” and watch him go retrieve a few high quality bath towels from the master bath to soak up the dog shit, paper towel mush, toilet water. I start yelling at him to immediately put those nasty ass towels in the washing machine and run it, which he does. He reports that he has fixed the toilet, cleaned the mess and then digs in the fridge and comes back with an ice cold can of Coke. Have you caught the step he’s missed? I’ll give you a hint. It has to do with canine fecal matter, bacteria, toilet water, and human hands. Yes, you’ve got it–soap is what is missing. At this point, I’m seriously about to throw up, I’m sweating on the bike, watching all of this go down, and my OCD brain is imagining all sorts of disgusting shit crawling all over that can of Coke that he is now about to put to his mouth. I cannot handle him. I just can’t. I need the bike to be moved. Pronto. In fact, if I don’t exercise tomorrow, I have an excellent excuse. There’s nothing better than a good excuse to sit around and become a lard ass.